A brief history

The Aberystwyth Cliff Railway opened in 1896, operating via a water balance system until electrification in 1921.

The unique design of the undulating track and tilted carriages is the work of George Croydon Marks. A man who played a key role in several projects during the golden age of funicular construction. He would later make his name in politics as Lord Marks, the liberal peer.

The carriages are brought to the summit at a stately 4 miles per hour. They are powered by a powerful motor and high-tensile steel cables supported by a sophisticated electronic safety system. At the midpoint of the journey, the railway ventures through a deep cutting, where 12,000 tons of rock was excavated to allow the winding footpath to cross via a series of bridges overhead.

Constitution Hill was the Victorian predecessor of our modern-day theme parks, and is still one of the areas most popular attractions. The visitors to the Victorian ‘Luna Park’ accessed the hilltop recreation area via the funicular cliff railway, and a century later visitors continue to retrace their ancestors steps via this wonder of Victorian engineering.

Today, just as it was a century ago, there’s plenty of fun for all the family at the summit. Once you have taken the train up Constitution Hill, there’s the Camera Obscura and the cafe and restaurant during the day, and themed parties and events in the evening.

To find out more about the Aberystwyth Cliff Railway come and visit us, we’re open throughout the year. If you have any questions, please call us on 01970 617642, we look forward to hearing from you.

Image: Aberystwyth and Cardigan Bay from the railway circa 1960. Image credit – TBC.

About the team

Aberystwyth Cliff Railway is operated by Constitution Hill Ltd, a registered charity with the trustees all volunteers from the local community.

As a non-profit organisation, we put all of our profits back into ongoing restorative projects. Every visitor who rides the train, or buys a coffee, helps us to fund this continuing programme. In recent years, this has resulted in great strides being made towards restoring Constitution Hill to its former glory.

Recently, this has included a series of works to make the whole site accessible to all, including parking provision for adapted vehicles, ramps at our lower station, a lift at our upper station and wheelchair, pram and pushchair friendly pathways throughout the site, including to the Camera Obscura.

In terms of restoration, some financial resources have been generated through the securing of heritage grants. Whilst our largest project, the construction in 2005 of ‘Y Consti’, our cafe/restaurant and gift shop, was built thanks to Objective One funding.

We would also like to thank ‘Enfys’, a charity based in North Wales, whose grant paid for much of the display work and educational resources around the site.

If you would wish to make a donation towards our efforts, please contact Alun Davies at Constitution Hill Ltd, Cliff Railway House, Cliff Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DN, or call us on 01970 617642, or email us at manager@aberystwythcliffrailway.co.uk.

Thank you for visiting our website, and we hope to see you on the hilltop in the near future.


The Constitution Hill Team.

Contact us

Telephone: 01970 617642

Email: manager@aberystwythcliffrailway.co.uk

By post

c/o, Alun Davies, Constitution Hill Ltd, Cliff Railway House, Cliff Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DN.

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